Meeting Members Where They are: Why Farm Bureaus are Embracing Frictionless Billing and Payments 

Angela Abbott

Farm Bureaus are so much more than insurers – they’re considered the voice of farmers and ranchers nationwide. Between advocacy at federal and local levels, educational programs, and the general empowerment of farming families, Farm Bureaus are actively building a sustainable future of safe and abundant food, fiber, and renewable fuel for our nation and the world. 

At the center of every Farm Bureaus’ mission are its members, those who have dedicated their lives to farming and ranching. In its simplest form, the aim of Farm Bureaus is to meet its members where they are today and empower them to keep running day-to-day operations while focusing on the future. 

One operational piece that’s critical for both members and Farm Bureaus is paying (or collecting) insurance premiums. And in a world where the modern consumer can make one-click purchases on Amazon or easily pay other bills online, outdated or manual payment processes can be a major source of frustration for your members.

By offering easy paths to self-service, Farm Bureaus can cater to both traditional preferences and the more modern preferences of next-generation farmers coming up today. This begins by providing a seamless customer experience where it matters most.

What do members want out of their payment experience? 

To help billers stay aligned with customer payment preferences, InvoiceCloud conducts an annual survey of ~2,100 bill payers nationwide to determine the current state of online payments. Data from our most recent survey (available for download December 2022) indicates several overarching trends that should give you a sense of the payment experience your members are expecting: 

  1. Digital: In general, digital insurance payments have increased across the board since 2020. Mobile and online portals were the two most popular and preferred payment channels, but mobile took the top spot as the most used and most preferred for the first time. 
  1. Convenient: The #1 word selected when respondents were asked how they would “describe their ideal payment experience.”  
  1. Automatic: There’s been a 5% spike in automatic payment enrollment since last year, especially among folks aged 60 and older. 

All of these descriptors apply to the needs of farmers – they required quick, easy ways to get their Farm Bureau premiums paid every cycle, so they can spend more time on the countless other daily operations that should be taking precedence. Even from the Farm Bureau perspective, leveraging an online payment portal streamlines manual tasks and offers bureau employees more time to focus on critical member issues and needs. 

So, what would your member’s ideal digital payment experience actually look like? Here are a few examples of how to identify a truly frictionless payment experience: 

  • One-time payments: This frictionless payment options allow members to pay quickly with only their member number, policy number, or account number – no passwords needed. 
  • More Ways to Pay: Members should be able to choose from multiple payment channels (online portal, mobile device, text message, etc.) and methods (credit card, Apple Pay, ACH, etc.), and each option should be as easy to use as the next. 
  • Payment Reminders: Farm Bureaus should allow members to opt in to email, text, calendar, and phone reminders so they never miss a bill again. 
  • Review and Store Invoices: Members enrolled in paperless billing should be able to receive and review invoices online any time they’d like. 
  • Automatic Payments: Allow members to “set it and forget it” with easy automatic payment enrollment capabilities. 

Options like these are crucial to helping Farm Bureaus remove friction from their payment experience, therefore making life more convenient for members and staff alike. 

Why Georgia Farm Bureau partnered with InvoiceCloud 

In the spring of 2022, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance selected InvoiceCloud as its next online payment solution. The goal was to give its 250,000 members a variety of frictionless options for securely paying bills electronically. 

George Monk, General Manager of Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance, shared that the decision stemmed from the organization’s responsibility to meet members where they are today. 

“Our members rely on us as partners in everything that they do, so it’s essential that every interaction we have with them, be it in-person or via automated means, be as personable and pleasant as possible. The convenience and sophisticated payment options that come with InvoiceCloud give our members the options, intuitive experience, and peace of mind they’ve come to expect as part of a larger organization designed to improve the lives of our members.” 

– George monk, Georgia Farm Bureau Insurance General Manager

Want to learn more about how InvoiceCloud can help improve the high-value member experience of receiving bills and making payments? We’d love to connect and understand more about your goals! Schedule a no-obligation call here or watch the video below to hear a little more about who we are.

Angela Abbott

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